In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Drs. Amy Hagopian, Kathleen McGlone West, and India J. Ornelas and Ms. Ariel N. Hart, Ms. Jenn Hagedorn, and Dr. Clarence Spigner of the University of Washington highlighted their collaboration with the University of Washington School of Public Health (UWSPH) to develop a curriculum competency requiring UWSPH students to acknowledge racism, counter the minimization of racism as a topic, and compel the school to develop resources supporting anti-racist education. The commentary specifically described the authors’ experience in developing and adopting an innovative schoolwide competency, despite political pushback, and offered lessons learned to encourage other entities to follow suit. Adding to the competency, the UWSPH Diversity Committee, along with its curriculum subcommittee, recommended the schoolwide Curriculum Committee adopt two other structural changes. These included questions about classroom climate being added to each department’s course evaluation forms and a “classroom climate” paragraph being added by faculty to their course syllabi. The authors concluded that relationships between anti-racist organizers and academicians can help develop accountability outside of academia and preserve the momentum and clarity of work done by institutions.
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